Charcoal Drawing Lessons

Learn how to draw with charcoal.
The dark, rich blacks produced by charcoal make in excellent choice for developing dramatic drawings. The powdery consistency of the medium spreads and blends easily. But despite its looseness, charcoal can be tamed to create highly-detailed, fully-rendered drawings. A traditional drawing medium - charcoal should be experienced by every artist.

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Skip to Charcoal Drawing Lessons on: Techniques | People | Landscape | Animals | Still Life

CHARCOAL DRAWING TECHNIQUES


PORTRAITS / FIGURE


How to Draw with Charcoal - Lesson
Learn charcoal drawing techniques and how to draw a skull in this lesson that features the use of white and black charcoal on gray paper (2 Videos).

LANDSCAPE


How to draw an old tree
This ultimate guide covers the basics of drawing trees. Four lessons are inlcuded. Lesson three teaches you how to draw an old tree with charcoal and sepia tones.
Landscape Sketch with Charcoal Pencils - Lesson
Take a look at drawing with charcoal pencils in this tutorial that explores a landscape sketch. How to sharpen charcoal pencils is also covered.

ANIMALS


STILL LIFE


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More On Charcoal...

All of the tutorials on this page involve charcoal drawing.  Charcoal is burnt organic material, usually wood.  It comes in many different forms including pencils and sticks.  Softer charcoals are called vine charcoal, while harder varieties are called compressed charcoals.  Most charcoal is black although some manufacturers add white pigment to create white compressed charcoal.  Vine charcoal typically makes lighter marks that are easy to erase, while compressed charcoals make darker marks that are harder to erase. 

Charcoal can be used on many different surfaces.  Charcoal is sometimes used when making a preliminary drawing for an oil painting on canvas or panel.  For finished drawings, charcoal is typically used on textured drawing papers.